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Monday, April 29, 2013

Wenger Hails Giroud Impact

Arsene Wenger has insisted Oliver Giroud is capable of spearheading Arsenal’s end-of-season push to secure a place in next season’s Champions League.

With the season nearing its close, Arsenal find themselves in that all important fourth spot but still fighting off the threat of Tottenham and Everton with five games remaining.

Despite scoring 17-goals for Arsenal since his arrival from Montpellier last summer, Giroud has often come in for criticism from some areas of the supporters and from fans betting Premier League.

A disappointing showing in the 0-0 draw to Everton did nothing to convince those doubters, but Giroud’s manager has been quick to insist the striker has an important part to play in Arsenal’s end-of-season run.

"He is very extrovert, but as well he has a basic positive nature. He wants to do well, he is desperate to do well, but he is not the one who hides afterwards," Wenger said.

"He stands up for what he has done and I feel he deals quite well with that. He wants to play every single game, he has a good basic stamina and he can absorb the games. I think you will see more from him next season, and there's a lot more to come from him," Wenger said.

Giroud was always going to find it hard to fill the boots of Robin van Persie following his arrival in the Premier League, but that’s not to say the Frenchman hasn’t shown enough signs to suggest he can become a real success in England.

Next season will be the real test to see just how big an impact Giroud can have for Arsenal, and the striker will be desperate that will also include playing the Champions League – although Manchester United stand in their way.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ramsey eyes Fulham victory

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey believes Saturday’s trip to Fulham could hold the key to his side’s chances of finishing in the top four this season.
After a number of difficult spells throughout the campaign, the Gunners seem to have found their form at the right time and following Tuesday’s goalless draw with Everton, they have now lost just once in their last 12 league outings.
Their streak has helped them rise to third in the table and victory at Craven Cottage on Saturday will see them move five points clear of Tottenham, although they will have played two more matches, with punters who bet on football  tipping them to hang onto that top four berth.
The run-in has been quite kind to Arsene Wenger’s men as despite them still having to face Manchester United, their other fixtures are all against teams who are currently in the bottom half of the table.
On the other hand, Spurs still have a number of tough games, including clashes against second placed Manchester City and fourth placed Chelsea.
Ramsey remains confident that his side can still finish in the top four and believes three points at Fulham will almost seal the deal.
"We're still unbeaten in a load of games and hopefully we can finish the week off strongly by getting a win against Fulham,” the Welshman said to Premier league betting news reporters. “That will put us in a strong position.”
"It was important for us not to lose against Everton. We still have a lot of confidence. It didn't quite happen for us in the final third but overall we were quite solid. We're looking forward to the weekend.”
"Tottenham and Chelsea still have tough games. Teams are going to drop points and we're still positive and confident we can finish in the top four," he added.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Arshavin Finally Granted Freedom to Leave

Want away midfielder, Andrey Arshavin, has finally been granted permission to exit Arsenal this summer after Gunners boss, Arsene Wenger, conceded the Russian’s contract will not be extended.

Arshavin joined Arsenal in 2009 after an impressive display for his national side at Euro 2008 yet never really hit it off with his teammates and football pundits on Betfair.

He will forever be remembered for his four goals at Liverpool in April 2009 and his winning strike against Barcelona in the Champions League two seasons ago.

In his first full campaign at the Emirates, he scored 12 goals in 39 appearances yet inconsistencies in his performances and a tendency to drop out of games meant he never cemented a place in the first team for long.

That inconsistency, it seems, is the main reason Wenger is letting him go:

"I don't think he will stay here, because he doesn't play enough," Wenger told reporters. "But he has shown 100% commitment at absolutely every session, he has been an example for everybody.

Unfortunately for Wenger, many Arsenal fans will disagree with his appraisal of Arshavin’s commitment.

For the Russian has often been caught wanting on the touchlines in games, unwilling to put his wonderful skill and footballing brain to good use against less talented opposition.

It isn’t that he is a shirker or a bad player, it’s just that whatever brilliance he produced in training rarely made it onto the football field. He has never looked entirely comfortable playing on the left side of midfield and hasn’t the strength, it seems, to contest for a central role.

The majority of Arsenal fans are hoping to see the club shed much of its baggage this summer and Arshavin, along with Johan Djourou and Marouane Chamakh, quite rightly won’t be around for the 2013/14 season. 

Go online for the latest football previews. Arsenal v Everton: Toffees to make it sticky for hosts

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wenger hopes Arsenal keep their nerve

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has told his players that they must stay calm and keep their nerve if they are to finish in the top four this season.
The Gunners showed all of their fighting spirit on Saturday, as they came from a goal behind to beat Norwich 3-1 and move up to third in the Premier League table.
Despite them now having played a game more than the Blues, the Emirates Stadium side will certainly be glad to have the points on the board and have the perfect chance to consolidate their position in the top four when they meet fellow Champions League hopefuls Everton on Tuesday.
This is all a far cry from earlier in the season, when both fans and pundits who bet on football alike were questioning Wenger’s methods after he once again let some of the club’s best players’ leave in the summer, most notably skipper Robin van Persie who joined Manchester United.
However the Frenchman has again proved his class by turning the situation around and will be confident of guiding his side to a top four finish once again.
With six games left the situation is now in their hands and the run-in certainly suits them, with United the only team above them that they are still to face.
Wenger knows his side cannot afford to drop anymore points and has called on them to hold their nerve and seal Champions League football.
"It is a question of nerves," Wenger said to Premier League betting news reporters. "The win over Norwich was a balance of nerves, quality and intelligence.
"We did not do anything stupid when we were 1-0 down and kept faith in our game. That side of the game will be important.
"We know we cannot drop points and we have to go until the end with this consistency."